Uses of the imperfect subjunctive

Understanding grammar is key to understanding a language.
Spanish grammar tips with Hotel Borbollón, online Spanish lessons.

Uses of the imperfect subjunctive

Reminder: there are two different ways of conjugating the imperfect subjunctive.

No sabía que fuera/fuese necesario.

I didn't know that it was necessary.

We use the imperfect subjunctive:

  • after the conditional or the normal imperfect when the action of the subjunctive verb happens at the same time or later

Me gustaría que cantaras en mi boda.

I would like you to sing at my wedding. 

Ella quería que fuese a su fiesta.

She wanted me to go to her party.

  • after an opinion verb (creer, pensar, saber, etc.) only when it is negative and expresses either a hypothesis or past event. 

No creía que el tren llegara por la noche.

I didn't believe the train would arrive at night.

No pensaba que Pablo estuviera en Madrid.

She didn't think Pablo was in Madrid.

No sabía que pudieras saltar tan alto.

I didn't know you could jump so high.

  • to be polite

Quisiera una taza de té, por favor.

I would like a cup of tea, please. (Yes, am English. How did you guess?)

  • after como sí (as though/if)

Has luchado como si fueras un campeón.

You fought as though you were a champion.

  • to describe requests in the past

Ayer Marta me dijo que cerrase la puerta.

Yesterday Marta told me to close the door. 

Siempre pedía que trajera el periódico.

She always asked me to bring the newspaper.

Taking your learning further

Still facing difficulties with 'Uses of the imperfect subjunctive'? Improve your Spanish with Gymglish - try our Spanish lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!

Do you know any tips to avoid making mistakes with 'Uses of the imperfect subjunctive'? Share it with us!

Improve your Spanish further and test Hotel Borbollón, online Spanish lessons.